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Providing Connections Between Freshman And Senior Engineers

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Introduction to Engineering and More

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1031.1 - 9.1031.8



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Paper Authors

author page

Craig Gunn

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2653

Providing Connections Between Freshmen and Senior Engineers Through a Design Experience Craig J. Gunn, Craig W. Somerton, Brian Thompson Department of Mechanical Engineering Michigan State University East Lansing, MI 48824

Introduction The typical engineering curriculum in most programs revolves around math, physics, and chemistry components. Students prepare for future engineering activities by building a foundation that will allow them to function at the upper levels of their majors. Little or no connection to those upper level courses is provided. Within an educational mode that may seem to be the correct way to prepare students; but when carefully analyzed, that singular focus of the curriculum may be incomplete. Most will agree that it is necessary to pique the interest of students in their future careers with material that is significantly important within that career. It is not enough to simply require courses that do not present specific connections to the future majors and hope that these same students will continue in the engineering programs. It is with that thought in mind that a new component of the Residential Option for Science and Engineering Students (ROSES) course was initiated in Michigan State University’s College of Engineering. The plan was to provide freshmen students with:

• An immediate sense of why they were taking lower level required courses • A means by which they could interact with students almost completed with their bachelor of science in mechanical engineering degrees • A means by which they would have access to the years of learning that the senior students possessed • A sense of actual future courses in their major

The mechanical engineering section of the ROSES class was given such an opportunity. Students as individuals or in two-person groups were teamed with Senior Capstone Design students to both shadow and participate in the design activities of the senior capstone design team. ROSES students were asked to meet with the senior students and carefully evaluate the activity. Students were allowed to practice their teaming skills through the planning and implementation aspects of the assignment and their communication skills through the reporting phase. This paper provides the relevant assignments and student feedback on the experience.

The Program In the week before classes began in fall 2003, careful planning went into the pairing of incoming freshmen mechanical engineering students with senior capstone design teams in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. The projects in the capstone design course ranged from automotive

“Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education”

Gunn, C. (2004, June), Providing Connections Between Freshman And Senior Engineers Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--12743

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2004 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015